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100 Biggest Blunders in Sports History

David DanielsSenior Writer IFebruary 7, 2011

100 Biggest Blunders in Sports History

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    What if you had a time machine so you could stop asking what if?  

    How often do those two words appear in the world of sports?

    What if the Team A drafted Player X over Player Y?  What if Team B kept Player Z instead of trading him?

    What if he didn't choke?  What if she finished strong?

    For the teams, players and fans connected to this list, these questions are all too familiar.

    Here are the 100 biggest blunders in sports history:

100. Leon Lett Field Goal Recovery

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    Poor Leon Lett.  

    The defensive lineman is a three-time Super Bowl Champion and two-time Pro Bowler.  Despite the accomplished career, he'll be forever remembered because of his bonehead mistakes.

99. Holy Roller

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    In 1978, there were 10 seconds left in the fourth quarter in a game between the Oakland Raiders and San Diego Chargers.  The Raiders had the ball at the Chargers 14: Ken Stabler dropped back to pass, was pressured, and just as he was about to be tackled, he flipped the ball forward underhanded.

    Raiders continued to bat the ball toward the end zone and, eventually, Dave Casper fell on it for a touchdown.  The referee called the intentional fumble legal and the Raiders won the game 21-20.

98. Fred Lorz 1904 Summer Olympics

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    Fred Lorz finished first in the marathon in the Summer Olympics of 1904.  Just before he was about to be handed the gold medal, it was discovered that a car drove him 11 miles of the race.

97. Russell Erxleben

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    Kicker/punter Russell Erxleben was selected by the New Orleans Saints at 11th overall in the 1979 NFL Draft.  Kellen Winslow was taken with the 13th pick.

    He kicked four field goals in his entire career and left the Saints after five years.

96. Bottle Gate

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    In 2001, the Cleveland Browns and the Jacksonville Jaguars played in a late regular season game that had playoff implications.

    On fourth down inside the Jaguars 20, the Browns converted and ran to the line to spike the ball.  They got the spike off, but then the referee called the play dead stating that the previous play would be reviewed.

    The fourth down catch was overturned and the Browns lost.  Not only did the refs review a play after another had already been run, the Browns receiver definitely caught the ball on fourth down.

95. Tony Romo 2007 NFC Wild Card Round

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    In the 2006 NFC Wild Card game, the Dallas Cowboys trailed the Seattle Seahawks 21-20.  With 1:19 left in the game, all the Cowboys needed to do was hit a chip shot 19 yard field goal to take the lead.

    Romo bobbled the snap and couldn't run for the first down as Dallas was eliminated.

94. 1969 Penn State Nittany Lions

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    In 1969, Texas defeated Arkansas in a game in which President Richard Nixon said he would give the winner the national championship plaque.  Undefeated Texas won and they received the title.

    Penn State fans were outraged because the Nittnay Lions still were undefeated as well.

93. The Play

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    If the band didn't storm the field, there's a good chance Stanford pursuit could've got to the ball around the 10 yard line or so.  

    Of course, Cal could've just lateraled the ball another dozen times and got in anyway...

92. Brian Bosworth

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    "The Boz" was one of the most hyped players in NFL history and one of the biggest busts at the same time.

    He was forced to retire because of a shoulder injury after he only played three seasons in the NFL.

91. Mike Renfro

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    In the 1979 AFC Championship game, the Houston Oilers were driving against the Pittsburgh Steelers.  Dan Pastorini hit Mel Renfro in the corner of the end zone.  

    Renfro without a doubt got two feet down, but the referee wasn't looking when he caught the ball and called the pass incomplete.

90. Heath Shuler

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    The Washington Redskins selected Shuler with the third overall pick of the 1994 NFL Draft.  He ended up losing his job to the Redskins seventh round pick the same year in Gus Ferotte.

    He only played four years in the NFL leaving the league with a 54.3 career passer rating.

89. Dirk Nowitzki For Robert Traylor

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    The Dallas Mavericks selected Robert Traylor sixth overall in the 1998 NBA Draft and traded him to the Milwaukie Bucks for Dirk Nowitzki and Pat Garrity.

    Traylor averaged 5.5 points and 4.5 rebounds during a career cut short because of weight issues.  Dirk went on to be a 10-time NBA All-Star and has averaged 23.0 points and 8.4 rebounds a game for his career.

88. 2006 AFC Divisional Game

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    This game between the Pittsburgh Steelers and the Indianapolis Colts featured three choke jobs in one minute of football. 

    First, Jerome Bettis fumbled the football on the Colts two yard line.  Then, cornerback Nick Harper couldn't get away from Ben Roethlisberger one on one in open field.  Finally, Mike Vanderjagt missed a 46 yard field goal that would've tied the game.

    On top of that, if Harper's wife didn't stab him in the knee the week of the game, he probably could've outrun Roethlisberger for the go-ahead score.

87. Dan O'Brien 1992 Summer Olympics

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    In 1992, O'Brien set a world record of 8,891 points as a decathlete.  He and another decathlete, Dave Johnson, were the focus of a huge Reebok advertising campaign that year. 

    At the U.S. Olympic trials, O'Brien chose to skip the lower pole vault heights.  He then failed on his first three attempts.  After all the hype, he failed to qualify.

86. Dominique Wilkins For John Drew

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    Wilkins was selected third overall by the Utah Jazz in the 1982 NBA Draft.  He was then traded to the Atlanta Hawks for John Drew, Freeman Williams, and money.

    Drew played just three years with the Jazz while Williams only played one.  Wilkins went on to become one of the most explosive players in league history and was nine-time All-Star.

85. Akili Smith

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    The Cincinnati Bengals selected Akili Smith third overall in the 1999 NFL Draft.  Smith started 17 games for the Bengals in his four years with the team.

    He left football with a career 5-13 touchdown to interception ratio and a 52. 8 passer rating.

84. Pedro Martinez For Delino DeShields

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    After the 1993 season, the Los Angeles Dodgers traded Pedro Martinez to the Montreal Expose for Delino DeShields.  DeShields never hit higher than a .256 in his three seasons with the Dodgers.

    Martinez went on to win the NL Cy Young award in 1997.  

    He was traded to the Boston Red Sox in a trade almost as lopsided in 1997, but the Expos didn't have the money to re-sign him anyway.

83. Wayne Gretzky Trade

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    Gretzky is widely known as the greatest hockey player to ever live.  Despite leading the Edmonton Oilers to four Stanley Cups, they traded him away because the Oilers were short on cash.

    He and two other Oilers were swapped for Jimmy Carson, Martin Gelinas, 15 million dollars, and draft picks.

    And you thought Cleveland was angry when LeBron left...this was taken to the Government.

82. Brett Favre 2010 NFC Championship Game

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    The Vikings could've just run the ball and kicked the field goal, but there's no way the wise old veteran turns the ball over right? 

    The interception not only ended Minnesota's season where they were the most talented team in football, it led to the disastrous ending of Favre's career.

    He could've won the Super Bowl and left the game on top, but after the interception, he just couldn't end his career on that note.  Everyone knows what followed in 2010...

81. 1987 Toronto Blue Jays

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    In 1987, the Toronto Blue Jays held a 3.5 game division lead over the Detroit Tigers.  They proceeded to lose seven straight games which lost them the division crown.

80. Tim Couch

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    Tim Couch was selected with the first overall pick by the Cleveland Browns in the 1999 NFL Draft.  Couch could blame the lack of talent around him, but either way, the quarterback who was supposed to be the savior ended up being anything but.  

    Donovan McNabb was taken with the second pick of the draft.

79. Roberto Duran

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    In their re-match fight, Roberto Duran called, "No mas," to the referee, quitting and giving Sugar Ray Leonard the victory.

    Duran said he quit because of stomach cramps, but his trainer said he quit because of embarrassment.  It took years for Duran's home country to forgive him.

78. Portland Trailblazers 2000 Western Conference Finals

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    The Portland Trailblazers won the first two games of the 2000 Western Finals against the Los Angeles Lakers in LA.  In game three with a chance to go up 3-0, Kobe Bryant blocked a Arvydas Sabonis shot that would've tied the game, and the Lakers won the game by two.

    The series came down to seven games.  In game seven, the Trailblazers had a 15 point lead, but the Lakers came back and pulled ahead in the closing minutes.

77. Rick Mirer

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    The Seattle Seahawks selected Mirer with the second overall pick of the 1993 NFL Draft.  As a rookie, he set rookie records for passing yards, attempts, and completions, but it was all downhill from there.

    He was a backup for pretty much the rest of his career and retired with a 63.5 passer rating.

76. Lawrence Phillips

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    Lawrence Phillips was selected sixth overall by the St. Louis Rams in the 1996 NFL Draft.  He was a very talented player, but character concerns going into the draft turned into character problems quickly.

    He didn't even play two full seasons with the Rams before he was cut after multiple conflicts.

    The Rams traded away Jerome Bettis because they drafted Phillips, and Eddie George was selected with the 13th overall pick in the same draft.

75. Mike Tyson Bites Ear

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    The Mike Tyson-Evander Holyfield re-match was highly anticipated and more than lived up to the hype, at least from a historic standpoint.

    The third round was stopped after Tyson bit each of Holyfield's ears.  Tyson was penalized and the match continued.  The next round, Tyson bit him again removing a chunk of his ear.

    Tyson was disqualified in one of the most controversial contests in sports history.

74. Referees Super Bowl XL

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    Was that offensive pass interference?  Definitely.

    Did Ben Roethlisberger get in the end zone?  No way.

    Was Clark Haggans offsides?  Obviously.

    Would the outcome have been different if the two blown calls went the other way?  Who knows?

73. Earl Morrall Super Bowl III

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    In the second quarter of Super Bowl III, Morrall threw an interception to the New York Jets that gave them momentum that they never gave up.  On that play, Baltimore Colts wide receiver Jimmy Morton was wide open down field for the touchdown, but Morrall didn't see him.

72. Art Schlichter

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    The Baltimore Colts selected Art Schlichter in the 1982 NFL Draft.  Gambling destroyed a career that may have busted regardless.

    In 1983, the league suspended him indefinitely for his gambling.  He was reinstated the next season, but then cut by the Colts in 1985 and by the Bills in 1986.

    He left the game with a touchdown to interception ratio of 3-11 and a passer rating of 42.6.  He was chosen before Jim McMahon and Marcus Allen.

71. Jon Gruden For Draft Picks

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    In 2002, the Oakland Raiders traded Jon Gruden to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers for a handful of draft picks.  At first glance, the Raiders seemed to have pulled off a good deal acquiring picks for a coach they probably would have fired regardless.

    The following year, Gruden got quick revenge as the Buccaneers defeated the Raiders in Super Bowl XXVII.

    As for how the Raiders draft picks have panned out, just look at their success in the last half dozen years.

70. Hank Baskett Super Bowl XLIV

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    Who's it more easy to blame losing the Super Bowl on?  Hank Baskett or Peyton Manning?

    Baskett will go down as one of the most hated Colts in franchise history.

69. Dan Jansen 1992 Winter Olympics

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    In 1992, Jansen set the 500-meter world record and was being labeled as the world's best sprinter.  Going into the 1992 Winter Olympics, he was favored to win the 500 and 1000 meter races.

    He left without a medal finishing a disappointing fourth in the 500-meters and 26th in the 1000.

68. Jackie Smith Super Bowl XIII

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    The Dallas Cowboys had the ball in the third quarter of Super Bowl XIII trailing the Pittsburgh Steelers 21-14.  On third down, Smith dropped a pass in the end zone and the Cowboys were forced to kick a field goal.

    The drop ended up being the difference as the Cowboys lost 35-31.  Smith retired that off-season.

67. Zinedine Zidane

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    Zidane drew a red card in the 2006 World Cup for head-butting Marco Materazzi.

    Without their best player, France lost the match 5-3 to Italy after a shootout.

66. Greg Norman 1986 Masters

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    On Sunday of the 1986 Masters, Norman was tied for the lead through nine holes.  He then double-bogeyed on the 10th to lose the lead.

    He fought his way back and was tied for the lead once again going into the 18th hole.  A par would've got him into a playoff, but he bogeyed.

65. 1986 California Angels

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    In the 1986 ALCS, the California Angels held a 3-1 series lead over the Boston Red Sox going into game five.  The Angels had a three run lead in the ninth inning of game five, but blew the lead and lost in extra innings.

    California would go on to lose the next two games and lose the series.

64. Chris Washburn

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    In the 1986 NBA Draft, Chris Washburn was selected third overall by the Golden State Warriors.  He went on to average 3.1 points and 2.4 rebounds a game for his career.

    Of course, his career only lasted two years.  He was banned by the NBA after failing three drug tests in three straight years.

63. 1984 Chicago Cubs

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    In the 1984 NLCS against the San Diego Padres, the Chicago Cubs jumped out to a 2-0 series lead in the five game series.  The Padres won the next two including game four where they took the lead in the ninth inning.

    In game five, the Cubs jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the first two innings.  The Padres came back to win the game and the series.

62. Wym Essajas 1960 Summer Olympics

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    Wym Essajas would've been the country of Suriname's first Olympian.  He was given the wrong starting time for the 800 meter race and slept through the event.

61. 1963 Pittsburgh Panthers Football

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    The 1963 Pittsburgh football team finished 9-1 which included wins over Miami, Notre Dame, and Penn State with their only loss coming to number two Navy and Roger Staubach.

    Despite their great season, they didn't receive a bowl bid.  Their season finale against Penn State was delayed because of the JFK assassination so bowls didn't want to risk inviting them.

60. Moses Malone For Draft Picks

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    The Portland Trailblazers traded Moses Malone to the Buffalo Braves who then traded him to the Houston Rockets; each team received draft picks.

    Malone went onto win three MVP awards, lead the Houston Rockets to an NBA Finals berth, and win the NBA Finals with the Philadelphia 76ers.

59. Steve Bartman

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    Bartman's Blunder

    In the 2003 NLCS, the Chicago Cubs held a 3-2 series lead over the Florida Marlins.  In game six, the Cubs were up 3-0 in the top of the 8th with two outs to go.

    With a man on second, Luis Castillo hit a ball into foul territory.  Outfielder Moises Alou reached over the outfield wall to get the out, but Cubs fan Steve Bartman tried to catch the ball and it fell into the stands.

    The Cubs begged for fan interference, but to no avail.  The Marlins went onto score eight runs in the eighth inning winning game six.  They also won game seven keeping the Cubs championship drought.

58. Steve Young For Draft Picks

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    In 1987, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers traded Steve Young to the San Francisco 49ers for a second and fourth round pick.

    Young led the 49ers to a victory in Super Bowl XXIX.  He was a seven-time Pro Bowler and has been elected into the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

57. Nolan Ryan For Jim Fregosi

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    In 1971, the New York Mets traded Nolan Ryan and a number of other players to the California Angels for Jim Fregosi.

    Ryan went on to strike out more batters than anyone in baseball history.  Fregosi batted .233 with the Mets.

56. Bert Emanuel

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    After Emanuel's 13 yard catch, the Buccaneers had the football on the St. Louis Rams 22 yard line with 47 seconds left in the 1999 NFC Championship game.  The call on the field was reversed and called an incompletion despite it being an obvious catch.

55. Kwame Brown

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    The Washington Wizards selected Kwame Brown with the first overall pick in the 2001 NBA Draft.  Brown has averaged 6.7 points and 5.5 rebounds a game throughout his career.

    The Wizards passed on Pau Gasol, Joe Johnson, and Tony Parker who went on to be annual All-Stars.

54. Charles Rogers

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    The Detroit Lions selected Charles Rogers second overall in the 2003 NFL Draft.  He only played three years in the NFL before being cut by the Lions in 2006.

    He violated the league's substance abuse policy three times in the NFL.  If Rogers actually turned out to be the next Randy Moss like predicted, maybe the Lions wouldn't have had to spend first round picks on Mike Williams, Roy Williams, and Calvin Johnson.

53. Wilt Chamberlain For Players and Cash

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    The San Francisco Warriors traded Wilt Chamberlain to the Philadelphia 76ers in 1965 for Paul Neumann, Connie Dierking, and Lee Shaffer.  Shaffer retired right after the trade, Neumann retired two years after the trade, and Dierking averaged a mediocre 10.0 points and 6.7 rebounds a game for his career.

    Chamberlain went on to lead the 76ers to an NBA Championship and win three MVP awards in Philadelphia.

52. Kurt Brown

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    Kurt Brown was selected fifth overall by the Chicago White Sox in the 1985 MLB Draft.  He never reached the major leagues.

    With the sixth overall pick, the Pittsburgh Pirates selected Barry Bonds.  Bonds went on to have a career in the majors three times as long as Brown's tenure in the minor leagues.  Plus, steroids or not, he broke the most prestigious record in all of sports.

51. Tony Mandarich

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    Going into the 1989 NFL Draft, Mandarich was being labeled the most talented offensive line prospect ever.  His measurables were insane for that day in age.  Weighing over 300 pounds, he ran a 4.65 40 yard dash, had a vertical leap of 30 inches, and benched 225 pounds 39 times.

    He was selected second overall by the Green Bay Packers, but retired after only three years of play.  He was selected ahead of Barry and Deion Sanders, two players who actually are in the conversation as the greatest to ever play at their position.

50. LSU-Kentucky 1994

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    The LSU Tigers played the Kentucky Wildcats in 1994 in a game that was after labeled "The Mardi Gras Miracle."

    LSU had a 31 point lead in the second half of the contest.  Kentucky stormed back and took the lead with 19 seconds left in the game, and they didn't give it up.

49. Pau Gasol Trade

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    In 2008, the Memphis Grizzlies traded Pau Gasol to the Los Angeles Lakers for Kwame Brown, Javaris Crittenton, Aaron McKie, Marc Gasol, and two first round picks. 

    The Lakers have been to the NBA Finals every year since the trade, have won back-to-back titles, and could be on their way to a three-peat.

48. Frank Robinson

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    In 1965, the Cincinnati Reds traded Frank Robinson to the Baltimore Orioles for Milt Pappas, Jack Dalschun, and Dick Simpson.  The trio did nothing in their time with the Reds.

    Robinson was an All-Star in each of his six seasons in Baltimore and led the Orioles to two World Series titles. 

47. Maryland-Miami 1984

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    In a 1984 regular season game, the Miami Hurricanes held a 31 point lead at halftime against the Maryland Terrapins.  

    Maryland went on a 28-3 scoring run before Frank Reich hit Greg Hill on a 68 yard touchdown to take the lead.  They eventually won the game 42-40.

46. Scottie Pippen For Olden Polynice

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    In 1987, the Seattle Supersonics traded Scottie Pippen to the Chicago Bulls for Olden Polynice and draft picks.

    Polynice averaged under eight points a game and seven rebounds throughout his career.  Pippen went on to have a Hall of Fame career and was a major part of all six Chicago Bulls NBA titles.

45. Herschel Walker For The Farm

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    In 1989, the Dallas Cowboys traded Herschel Walker to the Minnesota Vikings for five players and six draft picks.  Walker was a huge disappointment in Minnesota and left the team after just two and a half years.

    Two of those picks turned into Emmitt Smith and Darren Woodson.  The trade jump started the Cowboys dynasty of the 1990s.

44. Lakers-Kings 2002 Western Conference Finals

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    In the 2002 Western Conference Finals, the Sacramento Kings jumped out to a 2-1 series lead against the two-time defending champion Los Angeles Lakers.

    In game four, the Kings had a chance to go up 3-1 in the series, and with a 24 point first half lead, it looked as though they would pull it off.  The Lakers stormed back though and a after a Kobe and Shaq miss in the paint, the loose ball bounced right to Robert Horry at the top of the key who drained the three.

    The Lakers won the series in seven games.

43. Julius Erving For Cash

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    In 1976, the New Jersey Nets sold Julius Erving to the Philadelphia 76ers for three million dollars.

    Dr. J led the 76ers to four NBA Finals appearances and one NBA Championship.  He was elected to the All-Star game 11 times.

42. Brett Favre For a First Round Pick

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    After the 1991 season, the Atlanta Falcons traded Brett Favre to the Green Bay Packers for a first round pick.

    Favre led the Packers to their first championship victory since Super Bowl II.  He won NFL MVP three times and was elected a Pro Bowler nine times as a Packer.

    He now holds virtually every major individual passing record in league history.

41. 1995 California Angels

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    On August 16th, the 1995 California Angles had a comfortable 10.5 game lead over the Texas Rangers and an 11.5 game lead over the Seattle Mariners.  Two separate nine game losing streaks later, the Angels lost first place.

    They fought back and tied the Mariners for the division lead to force a one game playoff.  Randy Johnson and Seattle dominated 9-1.

40. Steve Smith NHL Playoffs

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    Tied 2-2 in game seven, the Edmonton Oilers Steve Smith put the Calgary Flames up 3-2 by scoring in his own net.

    The Flames defense held for the final 15 minutes to win the series.

39. LaRue Martin

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    LaRue Martin was selected first overall by the Portland Trailblazers in the 1972 NBA Draft.  He ended up being the worst number one pick ever averaging 5.3 point per game in a career that lasted just four years.

    He was selected ahead of Bob McAdoo and Julius Erving.

38. JaMarcus Russell

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    Russell was selected first overall in the 2007 NFL Draft by the Oakland Raiders.  No one in NFL history has had the physical tools he possessed at the quarterback position, but he just didn't have the intelligence or work ethic to develop.

    In May of the 2010 off-season, the Raiders released Russell and he has yet to be signed.  He has a 65.2 passer rating for his career.

37. Tuck Rule

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    In the 2002 AFC Divisional Playoff game between the Oakland Raiders and New England Patriots, the score was 13-10 Oakland with less than two minutes remaining.  The Raiders forced a Tom Brady fumble and recovered it.

    The play was reviewed and overturned as the ref said the outcome of the play was an incomplete pass.  The Patriots kicked a field goal to tie the game, and won with another field goal in overtime.

    No matter what the rule book says, Brady fumbled that football.

36. John Elway Trade

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    After John Elway refused to play for the Baltimore Colts, they traded him to the Denver Broncos for Mark Herman, Chris Hinton, and a first round pick.  Hinton turned out to be a Pro Bowl caliber tackle, but Herman only played five games for the Colts at quarterback.

    Elway led the Broncos to back-to-back Super Bowl victories.  He was voted to the Pro Bowl nine times and was elected into the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

35. Darko Milicic

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    The Detroit Pistons selected Darko Milicic with the second overall pick in the 2003 NBA Draft.  Darko has career averages of 5.6 points and 4.1 rebounds per game.

    He was selected over perennial All-Stars Dwayne Wade, Carmelo Anthony, and Chris Bosh.

34. Ryan Leaf

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    Leaf has been labeled by many as the biggest bust in NFL history.  He was selected second overall by the San Diego Chargers in 1998 right behind the player who would go onto lead a Hall of Fame career: Peyton Manning.

    He finished his four year career with a 14-36 touchdown to interception ratio and a passer rating of 50.0.

33. Robert Parish For Draft Picks

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    In 1980, the Golden State Warriors traded Robert Parrish and the third overall pick to the Boston Celtics for the first and thirteenth selection in the upcoming draft.

    The Celtics drafted Kevin McHale while the Warriors drafted Joe Barry Carroll and Rickey Brown.  Parrish and McHale teamed up with Larry Bird to win three championships in the 80s.

32. Pittsburgh Steelers Cut Johnny Unitas

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    The Steelers selected Unitas in the ninth round of the 1955 NFL Draft and cut him before the season began.  

    Head coach Walt Kiesling didn't believe Unitas was intelligent enough to play quarterback in the NFL.  Kiesling turned out to be the one who wasn't too intelligent as Unitas went on to have a Hall of Fame career and is known as one of the greatest passers of all time.

31. Dan Marino

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    The Marino Blunder

    Marino fell all the way to the 27th pick of the 1983 NFL Draft.  He was chosen after quarterbacks Todd Blackledge and Tony Eason.

    He went on to have a Hall of Fame career and is the without a doubt, the best quarterback ever not to win the Super Bowl.

30. Kareem Abdul-Jabbar Trade

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    In 1975, the Milwaukee Bucks traded Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Walt Wesley to the Los Angeles Lakers for Elmore Smith, Brian Winters, Dave Meyers, and Junior Bridgeman.

    Kareem won five NBA titles and three MVP awards with the Lakers.  He is the NBA's all-time scoring leader who scored more points than all four players traded for him combined.

29. Notre Dame-Michigan State 1966

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    When No. 1 Notre Dame played No. 2 Michigan State in 1966, the game was labeled "The Game of the Century."

    Tied 10-10 with 0:34 seconds left to play, Notre Dame decided to run out the clock instead of going for the win.  The decision is up there in one of the most cowardly calls in football history.

    The two teams shared the National Championship trophy even though Alabama went 11-0.

28. Kobe Bryant For Vlade Divac

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    The Charlotte Hornets selected Bryant 13th overall in the 1996 NBA Draft.  After pretty much demanding a trade, the Hornets traded him for Vlade Divac with the Los Angeles Lakers straight up.

    Since then, the Hornets left Charlotte for New Orleans and the Lakers have won five NBA titles.

27. Bill Russell Trade

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    In the 1956 NBA Draft, the St. Louis Hawks selected Bill Russell with the second overall pick, and then traded him to the Boston Celtics for Ed Macauley and Cliff Hagan.

    Macauley and Hagan both were All-Stars, but they still can't compare to Russell resume wise, but not many can.  Russell was the leader of the Boston Celtics during their 11 NBA Championships.

26. 1982 NCAA Basketball Championship

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    With the clock winding down in the 1982 NCAA title game, Georgetown pushed the ball up the court down one point.  Hoyas guard Fred Brown threw the ball right to North Carolina's James Worthy which sealed their fate.

25. Chris Webber Timeout

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    With less than 20 seconds left in the game, Michigan trailed North Carolina in the National Championship game by two points.  

    Michigan's Chris Webber pushed the ball up court and called timeout with 12 seconds remaining.  The problem was, they were out of timeouts which drew a technical foul.  North Carolina sunk their free throws and won the game.

24. Joe Montana

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    The Joe Montana Blunder

    The San Francisco 49ers selected Joe Montana with the 82nd overall pick in the 1979 NFL Draft.  Every single team passed on Montana three times.

    He was voted to the Pro Bowl eight times and was elected into the Pro Football Hall of Fame.  He has great numbers, but the one number he has that many call him the greatest quarterback ever for: four Super Bowl titles.

23. Tom Brady

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    In the 2000 NFL Draft, the New England Patriots selected Tom Brady with the #199 overall pick in the sixth round.  Chris Redman, Giovanni Carmazzi, Tee Martin, and Spergon Wynn were taken ahead of him.

    Brady led the Patriots to three Super Bowl victories in four years.  He's been voted to six Pro Bowls and will without a doubt be a first ballot Hall of Famer.

22. 1972 Summer Olympics

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    Rey Robinson and Eddie Hart were co-favorites in the 100-meter dash in the 1972 Summer Olympics.  They were both given the wrong starting times to the race.

    Robinson, Hart, and their coach found out as they watched the race on live TV.

21. Greg Norman 1996 Masters

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    On the final day of the 1996 Masters, Norman held a six stroke lead.  His lead shrunk quickly as he bogeyed on holes 9-11 and double bogeyed on the 12th.

    By that point, his lead was gone.  He tried to come back, but on the 16th hole, his tee shot landed in the water.

20. Cleveland Browns Fire Bill Belichick

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    Bill Belichick resigned aka was fired with cooperation from the Cleveland Browns in 1996.  

    In 2000, Belichick was hired as the head coach of the New England Patriots.  The Patriots went on to be the team of the decade winning three Super Bowls in a four year span.

    He'll go down as one of the greatest head coaches in league history.

19. Curtis Strange 1995 Ryder Cup

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    Curtis Strange and the Americans held the lead at the 1995 Ryder Cup with just three holes to play.  Strange then managed to bogey each of the last three holes giving Europe the victory.

    If he was able to hit just one par, the U.S. would've won the cup.

18. Patty Sheehan

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    In the 1990 Women's Open, Patty Sheehan held an 11 stroke lead on the final day of the contest.  She ended up losing the lead and the Open.

17. 49ers-Giants 2002 Wildcard

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    In 2002, the New York Giants jumped out to a 24 point lead in the third quarter against the San Francisco 49ers.  The 49ers then scored 25 straight points.

    The Giants had a chance to take the lead with a field goal, but a botched snap turned into a desperation pass that drew up much controversy.  The 49ers defender tackled the intended Giant, but the refs called ineligible man down field instead of pass interference, even though the target was eligible.

    The call cost the Giants the game, but their collapse should shoulder the blame for the loss.

16. The Comeback

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    In the third quarter of a 1993 AFC Wildcard game, the Houston Oilers held a 35-3 lead over the Buffalo Bills.

    The Bills then scored 35 straight points to take the lead, but Houston tied it up with a field goal to send the game into overtime.  In the extra period, Warren Moon threw an interception that set up the game winning field goal for the Bills.

15. 1975 Pittsburgh Penguins

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    In the 1975 NHL Playoffs, the Pittsburgh Penguins held a 3-0 series lead in the quarter finals against the New York Islanders.  The Islanders won four straight games and stole the series.

14. 2004 ALCS

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    In the 2004 ALCS, the New York Yankees had a 3-0 series lead on the Boston Red Sox.  

    In game four, the Yankees blew a one run lead in the ninth inning and the Red Sox won the game in extra innings.  Game five also went into extra innings, and again the Red Sox came away with the victory.  

    Boston then took the next two games becoming the only team to come back from a 3-0 series deficit in baseball history.

13. 1951 Brooklyn Dodgers

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    The 1951 Brooklyn Dodgers held a 15 game lead on the rest of the National League in August.  They blew the cushion as the New York Giants caught up on the last day of the regular season to force a three game playoff.

    It came down to game three.  In the ninth inning, the Giants Bobby Thompson hit a walk-off home run to win the pennant.  The winning run was nicknamed "The Shot Heard Round the World" and is one of the most famous moments in baseball history.

12. Sven Kramer 2010 Winter Olympics

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    In the 10,000 meter finals in the 2010 Winter Olympics, Sven Kramer finished first and set an Olympic record at 12:54.50.  Kramer was disqualified though for an illegal lane change under the instruction of his coach late in the race.

11. Lindsey Jacobellis 2006 Winter Olympics

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    Showboating never hurt anyone...

    Don't tell that to Jacobellis.  Her little mid-air move cost her the gold medal.

10. Jean Van De Velde 1999 US Open

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    Going into the 18th hole in the 1999 Open Championship, Van de Velde could double bogey and still take home the win.  He tripled bogeyed.

    His blunder tied him with two other golfers and forced a playoff, a playoff which Van de Velde didn't win.

9. Gary Anderson 1998 NFC Championship

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    I'm not even a Vikings fan and this is painful to watch.

    One of the most explosive teams in football history will be forever remembered as one of the best to not win the Super Bowl.

8. Bill Buckner

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    Buckner's Blunder

    In the bottom of the 10th, it was a tie ball game with two outs and a runner on second in game six of the World Series.

    Mookie Wilson hit a ground ball down the first base line.  An injured Buckner couldn't make a play on the ball as it rolled through his legs.

    The play won the Mets the game, and they went on to win the series.

7. 1984 Orange Bowl

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    In the 1984 Orange Bowl, Nebraska elected to go for the two-point conversion and the win against the Miami Hurricanes.  The call wasn't a blunder, but admirable.

    The fact that they failed on the two-point conversion is the blunder; two yards away from a national title.

6. Scott Norwood Super Bowl XXV

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    The miss was so infamous it deserved a nickname: "Wide Right."

    It was the first of four straight Super Bowl losses by the Buffalo Bills.

5. Scott Hoch 1989 Masters

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    Hoch's Blunder

    All Scott Hoch had to do was hit a two foot putt to win the 1989 Masters.  He missed it left.

    He went on to lose the playoff.

4. Roy Jones Jr.

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    After Roy Jones Jr. dominated Park Si-Hun in the 1988 Summer Olympics, the South Korean judges gave Park the win.  Jones landed 86 punches while Park only landed 32.

    Park Si-Hun was humiliated by the ruling and apologized to Jones.

    I can just imagine if Mike Tyson would've been the one cheated, those three judges may have died that day.

3. Sam Bowie

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    The Portland Trailblazers selected Sam Bowie over Michael Jordan in the 1984 NBA Draft.  Bowie went on to be the greatest bust in NBA history while Jordan went on to be greatest player in NBA history.

    The Trailblazers take all the heat for making this selection, but the Indiana Pacers blew it just as bad, maybe even worse. They traded the pick to Portland for Tom Owens who played just one year with the team.

2. Babe Ruth

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    Red Sox fans always accuse the Yankees of buying championships.  Well, four of their 27 were bought from Boston.

    In 1919, the Boston Red Sox sold Babe Ruth to the New York Yankees for straight cash, and the curse was born.  After the trade, Boston went on an 86 year drought without a championship with heartbreak after heartbreak keeping the curse alive.

    The Yankees have won 27 World Series Championships since the trade, and the Red Sox have won two.

1. Andres Escobar

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    In the 1994 FIFA World Cup, Escobar accidently kicked the ball into his own goal causing the Colombians to lose to the USA 3-2.

    Shortly after he returned home, he was attacked while sitting in his car alone outside of a Colombian bar.  He was shot 12 times and after each shot the attacker yelled "Gol!" or in English, "goal."

    The rest of the blunders cost teams games or championships, Escobar's blunder cost him his life.

     

    David Daniels is an NFL Featured Columnist at Bleacher Report and a Syndicated Writer. Follow him on Twitter.

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